Driving through the heavily trafficked streets of Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac, the bluest neighborhoods of the very blue state of Maryland, I've become giddy over the non-arrival of an automotive fashion trend. I continue to see far more Obama 2008 bumper stickers on cars than I do the 2012 variety, and actually, there are very few of either in evidence. One would at least expect to see the 2008 and 2012 stickers proudly displayed side by side, but the poor crackled and blistered 2008 stickers remain lonely orphans.
It's a clear sign of the times.
These posh residential communities, close-in suburbs of Washington, DC, boast an impressive high concentration of wealth, fame and post graduate degrees. They are home to scads of CEO's; NFL, NHL and NBA team owners; Members of Congress; top White House and Government Officials, Ambassadors, Lobbyists, and buckets of TV and Sports Personalities. In Potomac, Kennedys, Koppels and even Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, live just down the road from each other. In Chevy Chase, the distance between MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Fox's Charles Krauthammer homes is an easy jog.
I remember my neighbors' mad rush four years ago to obtain the coveted bumper sticker. In tony Potomac, it was as much an automotive fashion accessory as it was a political statement. The women in these burbs tote their Louis Vuitton and Coach handbags as they cart their kids off to school decked out in designer label clothing. And in the remarkable summer of 2008, their Mercedes, BMW and Lexus sedans, convertibles and SUV's sported that de rigeuer bumper status symbol. Folks who would never think of marring their elegant autos with a bumper sticker gladly succumbed to 2008's hippest automotive fashion trend.
It was vogue, stylish, chic, totally du jour.
These were clearly the in crowd: Cool, sophisticated, purveyors of style. Their bumper stickers made it clear that they were better than the people in the next lane who did not have an Obama sticker on their car. And the folks with McCain/Palin stickers? They were neanderthals compared to the Obama Fashionistas. One sensed that parents in Range Rovers were cautioning their young children to avert their eyes from such vehicles.
Where are these Freeway Fashionistas today? Their boulevard bravado is nowhere to be found. Maybe they're patiently biding their time. As white shoes need to remain in the closet until after Memorial Day, perhaps they're still waiting for a clear sign that the season has begun, keeping their Obama 2012 stickers neatly tucked away in the glove box behind the Grey Poupon. It now looks as if that hoped for season will never begin.
Clearly, the fashion leaders have decided: The Obama bumper sticker is just sooo last election season. It's almost as if these folks now sense that letting the world know they are Limousine Marxists isn't such a good idea after all. In fact, it might represent a repudiation by some of their errant liberal ways.
Here's an amazing statistic based on semi-scientific research: It seems that less than one in twenty Prius's in these parts boasts an Obama sticker on its bumper. All this time we've assumed that those hybrids were shipped from the factory and delivered to the dealer with the O sticker already in place. Who knew it was optional? Even the solitary Chevy Volt spotted humming through these environs form time to time has a naked rear bumper.
Not enough time has passed for the Obama Sticker to be considered retro. Instead, it is merely outdated, outmoded, old hat, behind the times, unhip and passé. It is no longer a sought after fashion accessory: It's now an automotive fashion faux pas.